The history of the Middle East is traditionally structured around the rise and fall of dynasties and states. The widely perceived view is that after the glories of an earlier golden age the region went into a steady and prolonged decline: populations decreased, ancient cities decayed and madism spread at the expense of civilized culture. In this pioneering text Peter Christensen challenges this story of decline. Long out of print but w reissued with a new introduction by the author, this important work is both a foundational text in the environmental history of the Middle East and a pioneering reassessment of traditional ideas about the historical processes of Iran and the Middle East region.
Peter Christensen is Lecturer at the Institute of History, University of Copenhagen and at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, Copenhagen.